Dickens has gone country, y’all.

By Rebecca Angel Baer
November 19, 2020
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Credit: Hallmark

Our favorite proprietor of televised holiday joy is taking on a Christmas classic. Premiering Saturday, November 21, A Nashville Christmas Carol is a nod to the beloved Dickens tale but with signature, jolly Hallmark shine and some very recognizable Southern accents.  “There’s been such a structure and a model to so many of the Christmas movies that we’ve done. This was kind really an escape to this little magical world that we got to do that normally we don’t get to do,” actor Wes Brown shared with Southern Living in a recent phone call. Brown continued, “We all know the Dickens classic. So, to do that with this fun little spin, with this magical element, with a really big cast… that’s what excited me the most about being a part of this one.”

This big cast includes Brown himself, a familiar face to Hallmarkies, as well as Jessy Schram, country music stars Kix Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Sara Evans, RaeLynn, and the most perfect Spirit of Christmas Present we’ve ever seen, Kimberly Williams-Paisley. If you haven’t already marked this one down in Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas schedule and set the DVR, what are you waiting for? We promise, this is going to be good. True to form of the network famous for sugar, spice, and everything nice, this is a softer take on the original tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his miserly ways. For starters, the Scrooge character is played by Jessy Schram, and she instead of being an unkind, overly frugal tyrant type, she’s just a tad lost, and her priorities are out of whack. In the original, Scrooge is visited by his old business partner who serves as the connection to the spirits, and that role in this version of that herald is Wynonna Judd and Kix Brooks steps into the shoes of the Spirit of Christmas Past. In fact, Brooks’ son Eric actually wrote the script for this movie so it was somewhat of a family affair.  And while this is not a musical, it couldn’t be called A Nashville Christmas Carol without a little bit of country music. In step Sara Evans and RaeLynn do belt out some Christmas tunes. Brown quipped with a chuckle, “maybe we’ll do a sequel one day where everyone jumps in. Who knows?”

In another break from the traditional way Hallmark has usually made their movies, this production was filmed in two cities—Charlotte and Nashville, with a whole company move midway through. Brown, a lifelong Brooks & Dunn fan shared with us that he got a taste of the rock star life due to a very special transport from the Queen City to Music City.

“When we had our company move from Charlotte to Nashville, we had wrapped that evening and like every evening that we did wrap, we would just go on his {Brooks} bus and wind down a little bit, get ready for the next day. Talk, chit chat, and then that night, we rode on the bus. Kix owns a winery so he broke out some of his wine. We actually watched Saturday Night Fever and we rode all through the night from Charlotte to Nashville. {When we} woke up we were at his gorgeous farm, about 40 minutes outside of Nashville.” Moving the entire production across state lines took a few days to complete and Brown spent those days having the time of his life on the Brooks family farm. “We raced cars, 4-wheelers, we shot skeet for a while. We just had a blast. It was too much fun, but you know, to look over and see it’s Kix Brooks from Brooks & Dunn, this is crazy! But he was so generous with his place and showing us everything. He didn’t have to do all that.” Brooks also invited Brown and the film’s executive producer, Dustin Rikert for a round of golf at his private golf course.

Brown was subject to some gentle ribbing over having golf clubs from his high school days. “They all gave me a pretty hard time. They were like welcome to the 21st century would you like to hit a driver that’s not three decades old?  And I was like what’s the difference? So, I hit a few drives, I was like oh my God, this feels completely different.” On the last day of filming, Brooks surprised the Louisiana born actor with 5 drivers from his personal collection. “They’re nice too. So, in my garage with my other golf stuff, yeah, I’ve got 5 drivers gifted to me by Kix Brooks,” Brown said with a laugh, noting that it was one of many “pinch me” moments he’s had in his career where he takes a moment of gratitude for the incredible experiences acting has allowed him to have outside of the work, calling it the “icing on the cake.”

Be sure to tune into A Nashville Christmas Carol premiering on Hallmark Channel November 21.